The Wetland and Aquatic Research Center strategic science plan

Open-File Report 2016-1193



The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC) has two primary locations (Gainesville, Florida, and Lafayette, Louisiana) and field stations throughout the southeastern United States and Caribbean. WARC’s roots are in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and National Park Service research units that were brought into the USGS as the Biological Research Division in 1996. Founded in 2015, WARC was created from the merger of two long-standing USGS biology science Centers—the Southeast Ecological Science Center and the National Wetlands Research Center—to bring together expertise in biology, ecology, landscape science, geospatial applications, and decision support in order to address issues nationally and internationally. WARC scientists apply their expertise to a variety of wetland and aquatic research and monitoring issues that require coordinated, integrated efforts to better understand natural environments. By increasing basic understanding of the biology of important species and broader ecological and physiological processes, this research provides information to policymakers and aids managers in their stewardship of natural resources and in regulatory functions.

This strategic science plan (SSP) was developed to guide WARC research during the next 5–10 years in support of Department of the Interior (DOI) partnering bureaus such as the USFWS, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, as well as other Federal, State, and local natural resource management agencies. The SSP demonstrates the alignment of the WARC goals with the USGS mission areas, associated programs, and other DOI initiatives. The SSP is necessary for workforce planning and, as such, will be used as a guide for future needs for personnel. The SSP also will be instrumental in developing internal funding priorities and in promoting WARC’s capabilities to both external cooperators and other groups within the USGS.

Suggested Citation

U.S. Geological Survey, 2017, The Wetland and Aquatic Research Center strategic science plan: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1193, 17 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • Vision and Mission
  • Examples of Current Research Areas
  • Science Strategy and Research Directions
  • Goal 1: Provide actionable science needed to conserve and restore plant, fish, and wildlife populations and communities
  • Goal 2: Provide science needed to detect, understand, control, and mitigate the risks and impacts of nonindigenous species and pathogens
  • Goal 3: Improve the understanding of wetland and aquatic ecosystem structure, function, and services
  • Goal 4: Provide the science needed to better characterize, monitor, and prepare for the ecological effects of climate and land-use change
  • Goal 5: Apply interdisciplinary science to enhance strategies for management, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems
  • Goal 6: Provide science to improve ecological understanding and enhance landscape- and seascape-scale strategies for ecological management, conservation, and restoration
  • Acknowledgments
  • References
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title The Wetland and Aquatic Research Center strategic science plan
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1193
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161193
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Wetland and Aquatic Research Center
Description iii, 17 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details